Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

Because of the interest generated by the recent unconfirmed ivory-billed woodpecker sighting on the Pearl River WMA, we are offering these tips to help observers distinguish the extremely rare ivory-billed woodpecker from the similar, but fairly common, pileated woodpecker.

Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

Large white patch on back of bird perched

Back of bird perched with wings folded is almost all black

Upper surface of wings in flight has large white area on trailing edge

Upper surface of wings in flight is mostly black

Under surface of wings in flight has white area on leading edge and large white area on the trailing edge seperated by black down the middle of each wing

Under surface of wings in flight has large white area on the leading edge only

Beak is off-white

Beak is gray

Crest of female is all black

Crest of female is mostly red

Bird flies straight

Bird flies with an undulating pattern